Foetal Tobacco Syndrome – What and How?

Foetal Tobacco Syndrome is a condition seen in infants born to mothers who cultured the habit of smoking excessively during pregnancy; the first mark is low birth weight followed by many others. Tobacco smoking during pregnancy may have adverse effects on the mother’s health as well as on the process.

It is considered as one of the significant reason for miscarriages and it also causes alarming health disease to the fetus. Women should not practice the habit of smoking before, during and after pregnancy. If it is not possible to quit completely, it is recommended to minimize the rate as this will reduce the risk of the mother and also her child.

foetal tobacco syndrome

How Does Smoking Effects During Pregnancy?

Women who smoke during pregnancy are more prone to health risk than other woman. It may cause damage to the mother and bring on Foetal Tobacco Syndrome in the child. Such pregnancies experience various complications like:

Early Rupture of the Membranes

In this case the amniotic sac ruptures prematurely and it causes labour before the full development of the baby. This is a costly affair as the premature baby has to stay in hospital for days to become healthy and gain strength to sustain.

Placental Abruption

In this case a placenta may be separated prematurely from attachment. It is very harmful for the fetus and the baby can die due to this. The mother can also suffer from hemorrhage and may need blood transfusion.

Placenta Previa

In this case placenta develops in the lower part of uterus and conceals the open part of the cervix. A woman may require caesarean section for delivery which is cost effective and it may cause other complications like maternal hemorrhage.

Premature Birth

The rate of premature birth is higher for the woman who smokes regularly during the pregnancy period.

Implication for Umbilical Cord

Smoking can damage the normal development of the placenta, which can have an adverse effect as it decrease the blood flow to the foetus. If the placenta does not have full growth, the umbilical cord cannot transfer enough nutrients and oxygen to the foetus. This may cause heavy bleeding at the time of delivery causing harm for both mother and baby.

Traits of Foetal Tobacco Syndrome

Low Birth Weight

Women who smoke during pregnancy tend to have babies with low birth weight. Premature babies and babies having low birth weight generally suffer from serious health problems like cerebral palsy, mental retardation, etc. The babies may die as well.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Infants who are exposed to smoke during pregnancy as well as after birth have more risk for SIDS due to excessive levels of nicotine.

Other Defects

Babies of smoking mothers may suffer from infected brainstem development, reduced birth circumference, cerebral palsy and distorted lung structur


According to a recent study the children whose mother smokes at the time of pregnancy tend to become obese during their teenage.

Quitting smoking at any point of time during pregnancy is considered to be beneficial rather than smoking for the whole nine months. Although it is strictly suggested to quit smoking during the pregnancy period as it can cause Foetal Tobacco Syndrome  as well and other adversities to your baby’s health as well as yours health.


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